With all the back and forth among the rock ’n’ roll and blues scenes between the USA and Europe, the nationality of the individual musicians tends to become obscured. In fact, guessing nationalities might provide a fun afternoon for quiz fans. While the country (or rather island) of origin of Joe Cocker and Eric Clapton might not be too difficult to guess, the name Van Morrison might pose more of a problem. Or it certainly would have done, had not the New York cult magazine Crème dubbed him the “Cowboy from Belfast”.
When the New World had more or less overcome the “British Invasion” and was just starting to rediscover its own musical roots, Morrison began to feel at home there and signed a solo recording contract with the New York producer and songwriter Bert Berns in 1967. Four singles were released, of which the first, Brown Eyed Girl, was an immediate hit. As though Berns could have foreseen his early death in December 1967, he released Blowin’ Your Mind without asking Morrison’s consent and so laid the foundation stone for his protégée’s lengthy discography. This, his very first album, is full of easy-going songs which reach back to rhythm and blues, but there are also numbers which are filled with weighty apathy – songs which already reveal the characteristic musical genes of the »greatest white blues singer« (John Lee Hooker).
He Ain’t Give You None
Goodbye Baby (Baby Goodbye)
Ro Ro Rosey
Who Drove The Red Sports Car